The reality of getting in shape for most is that the effort and drive don’t last but a few weeks–sometimes less. Over-enthusiasm can take a toll and burn people out out quickly. You must make it a gradual, manageable push forward. Two hours a day six days a week is NOT a successful strategy.
Becky is a good example. She’s learned from her past “fast-and-furious false starts”: Motivation has to be controlled, especially in the beginning. That helped her recently when she incurred a serious knee injury while walking our dogs. As she mentioned on our F4X video, she stepped in a hole and did some serious damage. She had to have surgery and go through rehab–and during those four months of down time, she gained weight and lost muscle.
Once she got the okay from her doctor, it was hard for her to hold back. She did not like the way she looked and wanted her in-shape body back fast; however, lessons had been learned…
She started easy–with the four-exercise Lean program for a month, two to three workouts a week, not pushing too hard at first but gradually ramping up her effort on those key movements. She trained at home with our 50-pound PowerBlock set and an adjustable bench, sometimes adding some abdominal work to the end of her Lean workouts.
After a month, she re-instated her gym membership and started the Shape program, once again breaking into the new exercises in that more extensive program easily at first. Her results have been spectacular. She has been on the Shape program for about two months now. Yes, she still has some pounds to lose, but as you can see from her photo, muscle shape and tone are coming back fast! And her knee is stronger than ever thanks to moderate-weight squats using F4X.
Her workouts are on hold for the moment, as she is visiting relatives in Texas (her twin sister took this photo with her phone, so no spray tan, no ideal studio lighting, no stylist–just reality and her hair blowing in the wind). When she return, she will get back into it–with a brief break-in week…
One thing that made it even more difficult to keep her enthusiasm under control over the past few months was that she knew she was taking a trip to see her relatives over the summer. We just kept reminding each other to train hard but don’t overtrain and burn out. You must make your workouts challenging–but enjoy the ride.
Of course, you don’t want to just go through the motions either. As we said, challenge yourself. A specific event can help you push yourself–like Becky’s trip to Texas to visit folks she hadn’t seen in years. She wanted to be in good shape. No, she’s not at her tip-top best, but she is definitely much better than she was only a few months ago after rehabbing her knee injury.
As for Steve, he has a birthday coming up: number 53. The fact that it always happens in the middle of summer gets him motivated even more. Birthdays are milestones, and they can help fuel your motivation; however, eating and exercising to get very lean can snowball into overtraining if you’re not careful. Even with his extensive experience, he has to temper it and not slip over the edge.
As you can see from his in-the-gym photo–once again, no ideal lighting or spray tan–he is almost there with about three weeks to go.
We hope our experiences help motivate you. Just always remember to keep it under control and enjoy the journey. That’s how you continue to progress–gradually. And also how you stay built for life.
Steve & Becky Holman
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